Devil Rays 6, Blue Jays 2.
We promise not to rant about Scott Kazmir and how he throws too many pitches. We are tired of mentioning it and you are tired of reading about it. So we promise today we won’t mention that Kaz threw 31 pitches in the first inning and had to be removed after 5 innings because he had already thrown 103 pitches. And yes, we know that Shawn Camp came on again with runners on base and got a huge out in the 8th inning, but we are not going to all of the sudden praise him. He did a good job last night, but we wouldn’t heap praises on a .150 hitter on the rare occasions he gets a hit, so why should we do that with Camp?

Speaking of Camp, let’s take a step back in time and re-address the implosion that occurred in the 9th inning of Tuesday’s game…Apparently changes are not on the horizon for the bullpen. And as usual, Papa Joe Maddon was doing his best to pretend like nothing bad happened.

We pitched badly in the ninth inning…I’m not going to let that one inning infiltrate all the good things that occurred yesterday.

Actually, that is exactly why changes are needed in the bullpen. Because giving up 6 runs in the 9th inning to blow a 5-run lead does infiltrate all the good things that happened. Seven different hitters had at least 2 hits. BJ Upton had 4 hits including his 15th double and 9th home run. Andy Sonnanstine was shaky at times in his major league debut, but did his job, handing the ball to the bullpen after 7 innings with a lead. All those good things were wasted because the Arsonists in the bullpen could not even get two outs between four pitchers. All those good things were wasted because the team LOST.

The Professor visits Joe Maddon at home…

The Professor: Hey Joe, how’s it going?
Papa Joe: Great. Team is exactly where I want them and my girlfriend just made this great pie.
The Professor: But it is burnt.
Papa Joe: (scraping top of pie with a knife) Nah. It is just a little overdone. It still tastes great. You just have ignore the black stuff.
Papa Joe: (takes a big bite of what looks like apple pie) mmmmm. So good.
Papa Joe: (blind dog with only three legs comes hopping into room) Hey! Pollyanna. A guy couldn’t have a better dog. Isn’t she gorgeous? We are still working on it, but someday soon she is going to be the best hunting dog ever.
The Professor: But the dog is blind and only has three legs.
Papa Joe: (dog runs into the wall) Yes, but look at that nose! what a great nose!
The Professor: (notices wall on back of house has fallen down) This is a really nice house Joe, but what happened to that wall?
Papa Joe: What wall? Oh that! Jae Seo got drunk and drove through it a few months ago. But it was OK, because he had that great start in Toronto.
The Professor: Why haven’t you gotten it fixed? The Wall, not Jae Seo.
Papa Joe: There is no need right now. We aren’t having any important parties here anytime soon, and besides the rest of the house is so great. I would rather just focus on the positives, like now it is much easier to get outside. Here, I will show you.
The Professor: (Follows Papa Joe outside) What is that awful smell?
Papa Joe: (looks around in confusion) I don’t smell anything.
The Professor: (notices a dead cow rotting in the back yard) Is that a dead cow?
Papa Joe: (again looks around confused) Huh? I don’t see anything. Here, look at this pool. Isn’t it gorgeous?!?
The Professor: Joe. There is a dead cow in your backyard. Right there (pointing and holding nose).
Papa Joe: (walks over to rose bush) Look at these beautiful roses. My girlfriend planted these. Don’t they smell beautiful?
The Professor: (passes out)

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • It may seem that we have been pounding on Joe Maddon a little more as of late. No, he did not make a joke about our momma. We do occasionally disagree with his moves (anytime he has Shawn Camp warm up) and we wish we saw a little more fire (not Lou Piniella, but not Jolly Fat Guy either) and wish he wasn’t always trying to be a spin-doctor. Still, it would be irresponsible of us if we did not point out that the Rays are only 7 games below .500 despite the fact that Axis of Evil (Seo/Fossum/Jackson) have started 30 games for the Rays and there are only 2 decent arms in the bullpen (Reyes/half of Glover/half of Stokes). When you consider that, it is actually quite amazing that this team has won 25 games, and at least some of that credit must go to Papa Joe.
  • A little unusual for the timing, but we had a post up about the draft late in the day yesterday. So if you missed it and need some light reading to warm up for the festivities, HERE is the direct link. Must admit, we are really torn, and you know we are usually all about the pitching, pitching, pitching. But man, Matt Wieters sounds like the real deal. Must be the inner-catcher in us. That, or we are just over-thinking the whole mess. But doesn’t it seem like every time, everybody, agrees on something, just the opposite comes true? It’s why we had confidence when the Bucs were in the Super Bowl. Nobody gave them a chance.
  • One good thing about the draft finally being over, is we are sick and tired of reading the exact same two headlines everywhere. “Price could be right for Devil Rays” and “Devil Rays weigh 3 players for top pick“. The problem is they are AP stories. Don’t news outlets ever write their own stories anymore?
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